Monday, October 11, 2010

Saints in Slums

I had a strange experience this morning. I pass by the same vendors almost every morning. There are three men I often say hello to right past the questionable bridge on the dusty road. Joel and his brother are at the bottom of the hill and the man who sells maize is at the top. The man who sells maize told me he wanted to talk to me about something. When this has happened before with people I know or have met they usually want money or a job. Sadly I don't have either to just hand to people on the road. Even the Amani ladies I cannot just hand out cash to. it does not work this way.

So today I told a couple people and asked what to do and the consensus was that I need to listen and then ask God. If he is wanting something i cannot give I should just tell him i cannot. *sigh* this sounds easy, but i find it hard.

So instead of walking back like a grown up and hearing him out I waited specifically to walk with Laurel*, who is one of the dearest women at the place I volunteer. She is Kenyan, but married to a problematic Ugandan man who, for what i can tell, doesn't do much and then beats her. She is just a little older than me in years...27 i think, but she has 4 children and seems very much my elder in poise and wisdom. before the organization wide retreat, i found Lauri studying her Bible while waiting for the bus. Who knows how early she came to be there and read. She amazes me.

On our way back I asked the vendor if he wanted to talk now or wait until tomorrow and he told me it was my choice. I told him i would talk to him tomorrow. I told Laurel what was going on and she told me first to be very careful since I don't really know this man. I know to be careful, but hearing it from a Kenyan somehow makes it so much more legit.

We talked about it for a while and she instructed me that i should hear him out and pray very hard about it and let God tell me what I should be doing. Then Lauri told me how God knows my heart and if I am living and speaking in the Truth that it will set me free. You know, i have heard this phrase "the truth will set you free" so many times, but I don't think I have ever had it touch my core the way it did coming from Laurel. You can sometimes really tell when someone knows a truth they are sharing with you and Lauri knows this Truth. I had that feeling that I was in the presence of a giant of the faith. A giant of the faith who lives in a slum and has a husband who beats her and four children she is scraping just enough together to get by. It was if my heart burst. I almost broke down in tears right then and there. The face of God in this wonderful Kenyan woman. I am so humbled and so in need of grace. Saints in slums. Oh Lord, convict me when I am self important or too pampered and spoiled to know the Truth.

What a day.